What makes boards great?
The board of a newly-merged business recently put ‘getting to know each other better’ at the top of their wish list for the board. Given their huge strategic agenda and complex business challenges, enjoying a board dinner or two together could seem like fiddling while Rome burns.
In fact, knowing each other as people is the basis for respect between board members, and respect is the basis of trust. Members of the board had instinctively latched on to the thing that would make most difference to them adding real value to the business.
Research shows that the conventional wisdom about what makes for good boards – regular attendance, relevant skills, manageable size, etc – are insignificant compared to good relationships, characterised by open and honest discussion, mutual challenge, and commitment to a clear, shared purpose.
The secrets of what makes a good board turn out to be not structural, but social. ..
This article is filed under: leadership